It’s been a slow realization that I am a closet dungeon crawler fanatic. Even though I passionately dislike the Etrian Odyssey Dungeon Travelers 2: The Royal Library & The Monster Seal series by Nisa they have produced a variety of dungeon crawlers, which have steadily won me over. If you haven’t heard of this latest title it’s probably because the original Dungeon Travelers was never released to the EU. However, with the surge of interest in anime-esque gaming this title has found itself in a unique market; originally released in 2013 to PSP then again for the Vita.
You play as Fried Einhard an alchemist of Romulea Kingdom, the only male of the game where you have the power to lock monsters into your book of seals. They can all be equipped and usable to add stat attributes in battles for your band of hot ladies.
You hear that? Hot ladies. A party of hot ladies following you around and following your lead. Also, the monster you fight take the form of alluring ladies and upon defeating and capturing you see them in compromising poses and here we have the beautiful anime cut scenes. This game is a lot less suggestive than Nisa’s Criminal Girls: Invite Only but just as saucy. You can view cut scenes and pictures in the title scene menu later for whatever reasons you build up your own gallery.
As a standard dungeon crawler you are given a premise for why you must climb these ridiculous monster ridden building but this game is slightly different. You are not just tackling the one dungeon. You have a map of many which gets unlocked and side quests requiring you to revisit and unlock new monsters, find rare items or have amusing banter with your party. The tutorials take form in bumping into a Penguin and Bear who discuss tips for the game, you have optional ‘classes’ you can access in your HQ but are not necessary to read to continue with the game.
Your party can only have six at a time and you can collect more characters along the way and choose your favourite teams to build up levels and classes. The class system is quite fun to play around with not only can you change the direction of your characters from fighting to magic based users this affects their outfits too. You can make your characters look super cute in maid outfits, cat costumes or scantily clad armour and this is all to make the game play more practical. You can also use points earned from battles to increase spell power, time taken to cast, immunity to physical attacks, poison or even unlock free ability which do not cost TP; ie. unique skills to that character. I recommend training your healer as soon as you acquire her as items are expensive to purchase so you want to be able to survive to escape dungeons. Dying mid-battle is soul destroying and you lose all the hard work you have put into levelling up characters.
Overall, this dungeon crawler is full of fan service to amuse you through commutes. I find myself reaching for this game on long journeys and levelling up my team or collecting monsters to fulfil tasks. The art is pleasing to the eye and the game tries to break up reading with lots of fighting and banter. What is the mystery cause for the monsters appearing in the kingdom? Who will Fried date? Why are there talking rams and, bears and penguins?! The answer is in your hands, if you dare to grind on…
I give this game 4/5
Reviewed for Machinima Sboc.